Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted on Sunday he has to “slow down on his drinking” and promised to “make changes in my life,” but made it clear he is not leaving his job.
Telling listeners there are “absolutely no excuses” and he has “no one to blame but myself,” Ford struck a somber note on his Newstalk 1010 program.
He called on Police Chief Bill Blair to release “this video” — a reference to the infamous video that allegedly appears to show him smoking crack cocaine — so that residents can “judge for themselves what they see.”
Rob Ford’s statements on Newstalk 1010 Sunday
Rob Ford: “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. It’s a brisk one out there this morning and it’s been pretty, pretty brisk this whole week.
“I’ve been thinking for a long time on what I’m going to say today. And first of all, I believe that this video, I want the police chief, Bill Blair, to release this video for every single person in the city to see. That is the right thing to do and chief, I’m asking you to release this video now.
“Whatever this video shows, whatever this video shows, folks, Toronto residents deserve to see it and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video.
“I support the police. I have never wavered on supporting these hardline, hard-working, frontline officers. They work day in and day out to keep our city safe and they are the best, the best, absolutely the best police force in the world. I’m the first one to admit, friends, I’m the first one to admit, I’m not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have made mistakes and all l can do right now is apologize for the mistakes. I sincerely, sincerely apologize to my family, to the citizens, the taxpayers of this great city and to my colleagues on Toronto city council. Unfortunately, unfortunately, I can not change the past. I can just move forward and learn from the past, which I will assure you I am doing.
“I love this city. I absolutely adore the people of this city and I love helping people when they call me and I go to their front door and help them. I want to move forward. But I also know to move forward I have to make changes in my life, which I can assure you that I will do. I love the work I do and I’m going to keep doing it.
“I want to keep working for the people of this city. And there is still, still a lot of work to be done and I want to continue doing the job that I was elected to do three years ago. And next Oct. 27th, let the people decide on who they want to run this city.
“I’m going to continue fighting for the little guy, fighting for the taxpayers like I always have. We’re going to build on our long list of accomplishments. I want to work with the people who want to work with me. I do not want to work with people that want to play politics.
“I also, also, want to thank the thousands and thousands of residents who have been calling, emailing and writing me to express their support during this very, very difficult time.
“There is no one to blame but myself and I take full responsibility for it. And without your support, there is no way I could keep going and I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart and I am going to continue doing my job that I was elected to do and, friends, I really don’t know what more I can say right now.
“If there was a button that I could push to change everything, I would, but unfortunately there is no button that exists.”
Doug Ford: “That’s it. Pass if over to me now I guess Rob. Anyways, the button you can push is moving forward. Taking care of anything that is going on in your life and moving forward and doing the right thing. I think, you know, in my life, if you put every single person, every single politician in this country under a microscope, and follow them around I don’t think there’d be too many politicians left in this country. But you know Rob, I sit back and I see the phone calls, I hear the support. What they want, I’ll tell you, what people want is No. 1, which you have apologized for your mistakes, they want to move forward and they want to make sure any mistakes don’t happen again. That’s what people want. You’re committing to the people of Toronto that’s what’s going to happen and I guess time will tell.
“The reason, folks, I support Rob is the reason a lot of people support Rob. Because they know how much he cares for the people. They know our city is absolutely booming right now under his leadership, his administration. And that’s not just Rob or myself. That’s all the councilors that made this happen. I’ve got to thank them for their support.
“Folks, you’re going to have your enemies down there and your allies. And with our allies we’ve been able to turn this city around in three years and they know, Rob, that when it comes to watching taxpayers’ money, there is no more honest politician in the entire country in my opinion than you. The opposition can flip it around, turn it around, twist the numbers, but the facts are the facts. And the facts are, you’re honest as the day is long. You never stole off anyone in your entire life. Never steal from the taxpayers. When you look around this province and this country, what’s going on up at the province level, of $3-billion of buying elections, you see what the Senate’s doing up in Canada, you’re seeing in Montreal all the corruption, that’s one thing, folks, you aren’t going to see. You aren’t going to see any misappropriation of funds ever, never, because no one, no one, can influence Rob Ford or Doug Ford, or buy Rob Ford or Doug Ford.
“And in my opinion Rob you’ve got to keep moving forward. As I say keep your nose clean and move forward. Everyone’s willing to accept. People have made bad judgment calls in our life. Make sure it doesn’t happen again. Let’s get moving forward, continue building this city.”
Rob Ford: “That’s what my plan is and all I can do is ask for forgiveness and move on. It’s embarrassing for me, I don’t know what else to say. But we’re going to move forward and continue running this city the way the people want me to run it. That’s why I was elected.
“ I just want to say one thing to the media, and I’ve said this before: I beg you, I plead with you, please, please, please, do not come to my front door and stand on my driveway. I have a wife. I have an eight-year-old daughter. I have a six-year-old son. They’re scared. They do not … not so much my wife, but my two kids sit out there, you see their little faces in the windows and … please do not come to my house. That’s all I’m asking you. Please, please just do not come to my house. I will meet you anywhere. But do not come to my house. That’s all I can ask.
Doug Ford: “I’ve always said Rob we’re open game when we leave the driveway.
Rob Ford: “Open Game. I have no problem. You can meet me, just call me we’ll set up a meeting somewhere, but do not come to my house, just for the sake of my kids. Please?
“That’s pretty well it. It’s a little emotional but what can you do. I’m going to ride this storm out and just keep doing what I was elected to do. I want to start moving forward with a number of issues that are important. Our budget’s coming up and it’s going to be a great budget. We’re going to keep taxes at 1.75%. We’re going to start studying contracting out garbage on the east side of Yonge Street, we’re going to continue to improve emergency services.”